Lavender's Blue

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
  (Redirected from Lavender Blue)
Jump to: navigation, search
"Lavender's Blue"
Nursery rhyme
Published late 17th century
Writer(s) Unknown

"Lavender's Blue" (sometimes called "Lavender Blue") is an English folk song and nursery rhyme dating to the 17th century. It has a Roud Folk Song Index number of 3483. It has been recorded in various forms since the 20th century and some pop versions have been hits in the US and UK charts.

Lyrics[edit]

there are as many as thirty verses to the song, and many variations of each verse. A typical version, described by James Halliwell in 1849,[1] is:

Lavender's blue, dilly dilly, lavender's green,
When I am king, dilly dilly, you shall be queen:
Who told you so, dilly dilly, who told you so?
'Twas mine own heart, dilly dilly, that told me so.
Call up your men, dilly dilly, set them to work,
Some with a rake, dilly dilly, some with a fork;
Some to make hay, dilly dilly, some to thresh corn,
Whilst you and I, dilly dilly, keep ourselves warm.
If you should die, dilly dilly, as it may hap,
You shall be buried, dilly dilly, under the tap;
Who told you so, dilly dilly, pray tell me why?
That you might drink, dilly dilly, when you are dry.[1]

Origins[edit]

The earliest surviving version of the song is in a broadside printed in England between 1672 and 1685,[2] under the name Diddle Diddle, Or The Kind Country Lovers. The broadside indicates it is to be sung to the tune of "Lavender Green", implying that a tune by that name was already in existence. The lyrics printed in the broadside are fairly bawdy, celebrating sex and drinking.[3]

According to Robert B. Waltz, "The singer tells his lady that she must love him because he loves her. He tells of a vale where young man and maid have lain together, and suggests that they might do the same". Waltz cites Sandra Stahl Dolby as describing this broadside version as being about a girl named Nell keeping the singer's bed warm.[2]

Here is the first of ten verses:

Lavender's green, diddle, diddle,
Lavender's blue
You must love me, diddle, diddle,
cause I love you,
I heard one say, diddle, diddle,
since I came hither,
That you and I, diddle, diddle,
must lie together.[4]

Both Waltz (citing Eloise Hubbard Linscott) and Halliwell have noted the song's association with Twelfth Night and the choosing of the king of queen of the festivities of that holiday.[2][1]

"Lavender's Blue" emerged as a children's song in Songs for the Nursery in 1805 in the form:

Lavender blue and Rosemary green,
When I am king you shall be queen;
Call up my maids at four o'clock,
Some to the wheel and some to the rock;
Some to make hay and some to shear corn,
And you and I will keep the bed warm.[4]

Similar versions appeared in collections of rhymes throughout the 19th century.[4]

20th century[edit]

A version of "Lavender's Blue" was featured in the 1949 Walt Disney film So Dear to My Heart, where it was sung by Burl Ives. This version was nominated for Academy Award for Best Original Song in 1949 (it lost to "Baby, It's Cold Outside" from Neptune's Daughter). This version of the song was credited to Eliot Daniel (music) and Larry Morey (lyrics). "Lavender's Blue" was one of 400 nominees for the American Film Institute's "100 Years... 100 Songs" list of the 100 greatest film songs, which was presented on a television program of that name which aired on June 22, 2004, but it didn't make the final list.[5][6]

The appearance of "Lavender's Blue" in the Disney film sparked a revival of interest in the song. Burl Ives released a record of the song in 1949, as did Vera Lynn, Sammy Kaye, Dinah Shore, and others. Ives's version was his first hit,[citation needed] Kaye's version charted at #5,[7] and Shore's version went to #1 in Australia.[8]

Ten years later, a doo-wop / soul interpretation by Sammy Turner reached #3 on the Billboard Hot 100 in 1959.[9][10] Other popular artists recorded the song throughout the rest of the 20th century and into the 21st.

Recordings[edit]

In other media[edit]

Film[edit]

  • In 1949, the song was featured in the film So Dear to My Heart.
  • In 2012, the song made several appearances in the film Christmas Oranges, sung by the protagonist, Rose (Bailee Michelle Johnson).
  • In 2015, the song was used again by Disney in Cinderella. It is sung to Cinderella by her mother (Hayley Atwell) when she is a child and later by an adult Cinderella (Lily James) when she's locked in her room by her stepmother Lady Tremaine (Cate Blanchett). The film's score uses an orchestral version of the song at various points.

Literature[edit]

  • In John Updike's 1960 short story, "A Sense Of Shelter," the story's protagonist sings the song to himself.[14]
  • Andre Norton's 1975 novel, Lavender-Green Magic includes the lyrics to the song, and the title of the book is drawn from the second line of the song.
  • In 1989, the song was a prominent motif in M.M. Kaye's children's novel The Ordinary Princess.
  • In 1989, the song appeared in the horror novel Walkers by Graham Masterton.

Theatre[edit]

Television[edit]

  • In an episode of U.S. sitcom The Ghost and Mrs. Muir aired in 1969, British child star Mark Lester, playing a visiting English schoolboy (Mark Helmore) sings this song to regular cast member, schoolgirl, Candy, in a dream sequence.[importance?]
  • In the Broadcast to the Empire Christmas Night with the Stars episode of Dad's Army broadcast in 1972, Sergeant Wilson says a few lines of the song as a microphone test for the BBC Radio Christmas Broadcast.[importance?]
  • In 2010, during episode four of season one called "I Remember Nothing" of the Australian drama series "Spirited", produced by Foxtel, the main protagonist Henry Mallet sings the song to Suzy Darling's young sleeping daughter Verity.[importance?]
  • On the Australian children's TV show Wurrawhy, Wubleyoo and Lauren performed a song, with Lauren strumming the guitar.[importance?]
  • In 2011, the character Freida Short sings it to Van Alden's newborn baby in the episode "Peg of Old" (Season 2 Episode 7) of the HBO series Boardwalk Empire.[importance?]
  • In 2017, in Hallmark Channel's original movie "A Royal Winter", the children's choir sings this song which the King used to sing to the Prince when he was a boy.

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c Halliwell, James Orchard (1849). Popular Rhymes and Nursery Tales. London: John Russell Smith. pp. 237–238. ISBN 978-0370012551. Retrieved March 7, 2017. 
  2. ^ a b c Robert B. Waltz and David G. Engle. "Lavender Blue". Traditional Ballad Index. California State University, Fresno. Retrieved March 7, 2017. 
  3. ^ (Traditional) (1674–1679). "Diddle, Diddle (or The Kind Country Lovers)". Traditional Music Library. Retrieved March 7, 2017. 
  4. ^ a b c Opie, Iona; Opie, Peter (1951). The Oxford Dictionary of Nursery Rhymes. Oxford University Press. pp. 265–7. ISBN 9780198691112. 
  5. ^ "=AFI's 100 Years... 100 Songs (nominee list)" (PDF). American Film Institute. Retrieved March 8, 2017. 
  6. ^ "AFI's 100 Years... 100 Songs". American Film Institute. 2004. Retrieved March 8, 2017. 
  7. ^ a b "Billboard Best Sellers Chart History – "Lavender Blue (Dilly Dilly)" by Sammy Kaye 1949". Song Database. Retrieved March 7, 2017. 
  8. ^ a b "Song artist 62 - Dinah Shore". The World's Music Charts. Retrieved March 7, 2017. 
  9. ^ a b "Billboard Hot 100 Chart History – "Lavender-Blue" by Sammy Turner 1959". Song Database. Retrieved March 7, 2017. 
  10. ^ a b "Sammy Turner Top Songs". Music VF. Retrieved March 7, 2017. 
  11. ^ "Dinah Shore – Lavender Blue". Discogs. Retrieved March 7, 2017. 
  12. ^ "Marillion: Misplaced Childhood". Dutch Progressive Rock Page. Retrieved June 18, 2013. 
  13. ^ David Roberts British Hit Singles and Albums, Guinness World Records Limited
  14. ^ Updike, John (January 16, 1960). "A Sense of Shelter"Paid subscription required. The New Yorker: 29. Retrieved March 7, 2017. Shuffling through the perfumed crowds to his next class, he crooned to himself, in the slow, over-enunciated manner of the Negro vocalist who had brought the song back back this year, "Lah-vender blue, dilly dilly, / Lavendih greeh-een; / Eef I were king, dilly dilly, / You would: be queen". The song gave him an exulting sliding sensation..."